A superb Dutch stipple-engraved wine glass by David Wolff with an allegory of Amsterdam, circa 1787-90

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Lot 71*
A superb Dutch stipple-engraved wine glass by David Wolff with an allegory of Amsterdam, circa 1787-90

Sold for £ 37,500 (US$ 48,373) inc. premium
A superb Dutch stipple-engraved wine glass by David Wolff with an allegory of Amsterdam, circa 1787-90
With a generous round funnel bowl and hexagonal facet-cut stem, the bowl stipple-engraved with a seated figure of a crowned lady, the arms of the City of Amsterdam on a shield worn on her breast, an open Bible on her lap, receiving as Tribute ivory from Africa and jewels from Asia, delivered by natives of those lands, various insignia at her feet representing Trade and Commerce, 18.2cm high

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    A Dutch private collection, Christie's sale in Laren, 12 April 1978, lot 1651
    With Frides Lameris, Amsterdam, 1997
    Julius and Ann Kaplan Collection

    Literature
    F.G.A.M.Smit, Uniquely Dutch Eighteenth-Century Stipple-Engravings on Glass (1993), no.Eb61
    Martine Newby, Eighteenth Century English Glass From the Collection of Julius and Ann Kaplan (1998), fig 22

    Newby describes this as a remarkable goblet, a tour de force by David Wolff. It is the only known example of this subject by David Wolff and like so much of his work, the decoration on this glass is full of thinly-disguised symbolism. The figure of 'Amsterdam' holds the sword of Justice while the hat raised on a lance represents Liberty. At her feet lie an anchor, a trident and caduceus, ears of corn and a spice jar. Wolff relied on the patronage of wealthy Dutch burghers as well as the Prince of Orange, and so the inclusion of these emblems of Free Trade and Commerce naturally counter his support for more controversial causes including mild socialism. The African figure who is presenting valuable ivory from his nation is depicted as a slave and although he bears no chains, it is surely no coincidence that he is shown in the precise pose adopted by the Abolitionists and made famous by Josiah Wedgwood's medallion issued in 1787 (see lot 148 in this sale).
Contacts
A superb Dutch stipple-engraved wine glass by David Wolff with an allegory of Amsterdam, circa 1787-90
A superb Dutch stipple-engraved wine glass by David Wolff with an allegory of Amsterdam, circa 1787-90
A superb Dutch stipple-engraved wine glass by David Wolff with an allegory of Amsterdam, circa 1787-90
A superb Dutch stipple-engraved wine glass by David Wolff with an allegory of Amsterdam, circa 1787-90
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